Smart backs renewed push for SIM registration

Following its report on blocking more than 23 million smishing (SMS phishing) attempts in just three days, PLDT’s wireless unit Smart Communications Inc. (Smart) calls on the passage of the SIM Card Registration Bill.

“As a longtime advocate of consumer online protection, Smart has been actively implementing initiatives to keep our customers safe, especially from scams and fraud,” said Alfredo S. Panlilio, president and CEO, PLDT Inc. and Smart Communications. “We are always ready to support the legislative process. We welcome any opportunity to contribute to the success of the SIM card registration bill and support the government in developing its implementing rules and regulations,” Panlilio added.

In April, President Rodrigo Duterte vetoed the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) Card Registration Act citing issues on data privacy.

Recently, Sen. Grace Poe called on the attention of the Department of Information and Communications Technology and the National Telecommunications to heighten efforts against smishing or text scams. Last year, smishing have become prevalent. A text message offering jobs contains a link that could lead to a phishing site wherein unsuspecting victims will supply personal information.

PLDT and Smart established the Cybersecurity Operations Group to ensure the resiliency and sustainability of their cybersecurity systems, which is fundamental to the PLDT group’s broader program to elevate the quality of customer experience by protecting them from cyberthreats.

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From January to May this year, PLDT and Smart blocked over 600,000 text messages linked to smishing, hoaxes and spamming. To further protect customers from these fraudulent activities, PLDT and Smart also blocked almost 78,000 SIMs related to smishing over the same period.

Between mid-February and May this year, PLDT and Smart also blocked more than 500 domains specifically linked to smishing, while the Group has further blocked more than 10,000 domains tied to phishing since July 2021.

PLDT and Smart invested nearly P3 billion in cybersecurity infrastructure in 2021, to safeguard the public against emerging cyber threats and vulnerabilities, including online fraud and other criminal activities.